The origin of the Rosary from prayer to object.

BLISS Rosary Beads | McVAN Rosary Beads | PLASTIC Rosary Beads

Wearing Rosary Beads:

A set of blessed rosary beads is considered to be a sacramental.

One Catholic catechism instructs the faithful to wear rosary beads as "it will help them to love Jesus more" and serve as a "protection from Satan". Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort encouraged Christians to wear rosary beads, stating that doing so "eased him considerably".

Many religious orders wear the rosary as part of their habit. One may wear rosary beads as a statement of faith, to keep them handy for praying throughout the day, or to avoid losing them.



What is the Origin of the Rosary?

The complex history of the rosary deals normally with the following stages of development:

1. Repetition of the Hail Mary, in the twelfth century, related to the joys of Mary, first five (Annunciation, Nativity, Resurrection, Ascension, Assumption) then seven, later fifteen (reflecting the twenty decades of the Psalter). We later find instances on celestial joys as opposed to joyful historical events in Mary's life.

2. For the next two centuries (thirteenth and fourteenth) a similar development regarding Mary's sorrows (five, later seven) takes place (from Franciscan and Servite influences).

3. In the fourteenth century the rosary also has the meaning of florilegium, a collection of pious thoughts or little poems about Mary. The stanzas (varying in number, 50, 150...) rhymed with Ave and were followed by the recitation of the Hail Mary.

4. The fifteenth century sees the appearance of the Carthusian and the Dominican rosary, both still prayed today. The Carthusian rosary (Dominic the Carthusian of Trier, Germany, ca. 1410) is a succession of 150 Hail Marys with appended references to the lives of Christ and Mary (for example: Annunciation...). The Dominican rosary (from Alain of Roche, Douai, ca. 1460) is structured in three groups of mysteries related to the Incarnation, Passion and Resurrection of Christ. This latter rosary recitation became the most common, even the norm, since the end of the fifteenth century, not least thanks to the confraternities of the rosary (since 1475).

The Rosary Beads:

1. Originally, this tallying device served to monitor penitential exercises. Penitents used strings or little cords with knots to count the number of "Our Fathers" to be recited. The name given to this tallying device was Paternoster or Pater. The Paternoster is older than the physical rosary but co-existed with the latter throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. There existed a profession of Paternoster-Makers, specializing in the manufacture of Paternosters and Rosaries.

2. The transfer of the name rosary from the prayer form to the physical object took place at the beginning of the sixteenth century. Long before this occurred, the tallying devices, later called "rosary," were either simple cords or closed chains of various lengths, with or without subdivisions, and made of a variety of materials (wood, bone, coral, mother of pearl, pebbles, seeds, pits ...). Around the year 1500 we find two major types of "rosaries":

a) Prayer chains with fifty beads/pearls symbolizing the fifty Aves, clustered in five groups of ten, each of these groups separated from the next by a bigger/larger bead/pearl;

b) The so-called tenner, a short string or cord with ten beads and some additional Paternoster beads. Affixed to one end, there was a ring to slip the tenner from one finger to the other (5 x 10). The opposite end was decorated with a tassel, medal or special knot.

3. Special devotions, fashion and local customs brought forth a variety of forms. The short form of the "tenner" was usually reserved for men; it was the typical tallying device for monks as late as the eighteenth century. Women resorted to the longer version and adorned their prayer chain with miniature figurines, images, scented dried fruit and flowers, and also pearls and gems. Among the better known varieties there are the ring-rosaries, Bridget- rosaries (six groups of ten plus three pearls), the Psalter-rosaries (fifteen groups of ten), rosaries based on the five wounds of Christ with symbols of the wounds hooked into the rosary. Some rosaries were made by goldsmiths (Altotting, Germany, sixteenth century); others made with pits from apricots engraved with the portraits of civil rulers. Mass production started early (fifteenth/sixteenth century) and allowed for cheaper rosaries from wood, jet, bone, glass, pewter, lead and iron. The eighteenth c knows of filigree rosaries, the nineteenth century produced chainstitched rosaries. During these centuries beads for faith, hope and charity were added, and the Greek cross was replaced by the Latin cross. The Orthodox tradition knows the komposkoini (literally a rope with knots). Known since medieval times the komposkoini is used by monks and nuns for the recitation of the Jesus Prayer. The cord is attached to a cross and has from thirty-three (years of Jesusí earthly existence) to fifty and up to three-hundred (number of genuflections) knots. Mary plays a central intercessory role in the longer formulas of the Jesus Prayer.

RETURN TO A PARTICULAR PATRON SAINT ROSARY CATEGORY OR NAME:

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | R | S | T | U | V | W | Z

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Saint AARON Rosaries | Saint ADRIAN Rosaries | Saint AEDAN Rosaries

Saint AGATHA Rosaries | Siant AGNES Rosaries | Saint AIDAN Rosaries

Saint ALBERT Rosaries | Saint ALEXANDER Rosaries | Saint ALEXANDRA Rosaries

Saint ALICE Rosaries | Saint ALOYSIUS Rosaries | Saint ALPHONSA Rosaries

saint ALPHONSUS Rosaries | Saint AMBROSE Rosaries | Saint AMELIA Rosaries

Saint ANASTASIA Rosaries | Saint ANDRE Rosaries | Saint ANDREW KIM TAEGON Rosaries

Saint ANDREW THE APOSTLE Rosaries | Saint ANGELA Rosaries | Saint ANN Rosaries

Saint ANNE Rosaries | Saint ANSELM Rosaries | Saint ANTHONY MARY CLARET Rosaries

Saint ANTHONY OF EGYPT Rosaries | Saint ANTHONY OF PADUA Rosaries

Saint APOLLONIA Rosaries | Saint ARNOLD JANSSEN Rosaries

Saint ATHANASIUS Rosaries | Saint AUGUSTINE Rosaries

Saint AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO Rosaries | Saint AUSTIN Rosaries

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Saint BARBARA Rosaries | saint BARNABAS Rosaries | Saint BARTHOLOMEW Rosaries

Saint BASIL Rosaries | Saint BEDE Rosaries | Saint BENEDICT Rosaries

Saint BENJAMINE Rosaries | Saint BERNADETTE Rosaries | Saint BERNADINE Rosaries

Saint BERNARD OF CLAIRVAUX Rosaries | Saint BERNARD OF MONTJOUX Rosaries

Saint BLAISE Rosaries | Saint BONAVENTURE Rosaries | Saint BONIFACE Rosaries

Saint BRENDAN Rosaries | Saint BRIGID OF IRELAND Rosaries

Saint BRIGID OF SWEDEN Rosaries | Saint BRUNO Rosaries

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Saint CAMILLUS Rosaries | Saint CASIMIR Rosaries | Saint CATHERINE LABOURE Rosaries

Saint CATHERINE OF ALEXANDRIA Rosaries | Saint CATHERINE OF BOLOGNA Rosaries

Saint CATHERINE OF SIENA Rosaries | Saint CATHERINE OF SWEDEN Rosaries

Saint CECILIA Rosaries | Saint CHARLES Rosaries | Saint CHRISTIAN Rosaries

Saint CHRISTINA Rosaries | Saint CHRISTOPHER Rosaries | Saint CLARE Rosaries

Saint CLAUDE Rosaries | Saint CLEMENT Rosaries | Saint COLETTE Rosaries

Saint COLUMBANUS Rosaries | Saint COLUMBKILLE Rosaries | Saint CORNELIUS Rosaries

Saint COSMAS & DAMIAN Rosaries

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Saint DAMIEN Rosaries | Saint DANIEL COMBONI Rosaries

Saint DANIEL THE PROFIT Rosaries | Saint DARIA Rosaries | Saint DAVID Rosaries

Saint DEBORAH Rosaries | Saint DENNIS Rosaries | Saint DISMAS Rosaries

Saint DOMINIC DE GUZMAN Rosaries | Saint DOMINIC SAVIO Rosaries

Saint DOROTHY Rosaries | Saint DROGO Rosaries | Saint DUNSTAN Rosaries

Saint DYMPHNA Rosaries

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Saint EDBURGA Rosaries | Saint EDITH STEIN Rosaries

Saint EDMUND CAMPION Rosaries | Saint EDMUND OF EAST ANGLIA Rosaries

Saint EDWARD Rosaries | Saint EDWIN Rosaries | Saint ELIGIUS Rosaries

Saint ELIZABETH ANN SETON Rosaries | Saint ELIZABETH OF HUNGARY Rosaries

Saint ELIZABETH OF THE VISITATION Rosaries | Saint ELMO Rosaries

Saint EMILY Rosaries | Saint EMMA Rosaries | Saint EPHREM Rosaries

Saint EUGENE I (POPE) Rosaries | Saint EUGENE DE MAZENOD Rosaries

Saint EUSTACHIUS Rosaries

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FABIAN | FELICITY | FIACRE | FIDELIS | FINA | FINNIAN | FLORIAN

FRANCES CABRINI | FRANCES OF ROME | FRANCIS DE SALES | FRANCIS OF ASSISI

FRANCIS XAVIER

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GABRIEL POSSENTI | GABRIEL THE ARCHANGEL | GEMMA | GENESIUS | GENEVIEVE

GEORGE | GERALD } GERARD | GERMAINE | GERTRUDE | GIANNA | GILES | GRACE

GREGORY

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HANNIBAL | HELEN | HENRY | HILDEGARD | HONORIUS | HUBERT

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IGNATIUS | ISABELLA | ISIDORE OF SEVILLE | ISAAC JOGUES | ISAIAH

ISIDORE THE FARMER | IVO

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JACOB | JADWIGA | JAMES | JANARIUS | JANE | JASON | JEANNE CHEZARD DE MATEL

JEANNE JUGAN | JEROME | JOACHIM | JOAN OF ARC | JOHN BAPTISTE DE LA SALLE

JOHN BERCHMANS | JOHN BOSCO | JOHN CHRYSOSTOM | JOHN LICCI

JOHN NEUMANN | JOHN OF CAPISTRANO | JOHN OF GOD | JOHN OF THE CROSS

JOHN PAUL II | JOHN THE APOSTLE | JOHN THE BAPTIST | JOHN VIANNEY

JOHN XXIII (POPE) | JOSEMARIA ESCRIVA | JOSEPH AND CHILD

JOSEPH FREINADMETZ | JOSEPHINE BAKHITA | JOSEPH MARELLO

JOSEPH of ARIMATHEA | JOSEPH of CUPERTINO | JOSEPH the WORKER | JOSHUA

JUAN | JUDE THADDEUS | JULIA | JULIANA | JULIE | JUSTIN

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KATERI TEKAKWITHA | KATHARINE DREXEL | KENNETH | KEVIN | KIERAN | KILIAN

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LAWRENCE | LAZARUS | LEO | LIDWINA | LILLIAN | LOUISE | LOUIS IX OF FRANCE

LOUIS MARIE DE MONTFORT | LUCIA | LUCY | LUIGI | | LUKE | LYDIA

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MADELINE | MADONNA DEL GHISALLO | MALACHY | MARCELLIN

MARGARET MARY ALACOQUE | MARGARET OF CORTONA | MARGARET OF SCOTLAND

MARIA BERTILLA BOSCARDIN | MARIA FAUSTINA | MARIA GORETTI

MARIE MAGDALENE POSTEL | MARINA | MARK | MARON | MARTHA

MARTIN DE PORRES | MARTIN OF TOURS | MARY MACKILLOP | MARY MAGDALENE

MARY MAGDALENE OF CANOSSA | MATILDA | MATTHEW THE APOSTLE | MATTHIAS

MAURUS | MAXIMILION KOLBE | MEDARD | MEINRAD | MICHAEL | MONICA _________________________________________________________________

NATHANAEL | NICHOLAS | NIMATULLAH | NINO DE ATOCHA | NORBERT

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ODILIA | OLIVIA

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PADRE PIO | PATRICK | PAULA | PAULINE | PAUL OF THE CROSS | PAUL THE APOSTLE

PAUL THE HERMIT | PEREGRINE | PERPETUA | PETER & PAUL | PETER CANISIUS

PETER CHANEL | PETER CLAVER | PETER NOLASCO | PETER THE APOSTLE

PETRONILLE | PHILIP NERI | PHILIP THE APOSTLE | PHILOMENA

PIUS V | PIUS X | PLACIDUS | POLYCARP

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RACHEL | RAFKA | RAPHAEL | RAYMOND NONNATUS | RAYMOND OF PENAFORT

REBECCA | REGINA | REGIS | REMIGIUS | RENE | RICHARD | RITA | ROBERT | ROCH

ROCCO | RONAN | ROSALIA | ROSE OF LIMA | ROSE PHILIPPINE DUCHESNE

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SAMUEL | SARAH | SCHOLASTICA | SEBASTIAN | SERAPHINA | SHARBEL | SIMON

SOPHIA | STANISLAUS | STEPHANIE | STEPHEN | SUSANNA

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TARCISIUS | TERESA of AVILA | TERESA OF CALCUTTA | THEODORA | THEODORE

THERESA | THERESE | THOMAS A BECKET | THOMAS AQUINAS | THOMAS MORE

THOMAS of VILLANOVA | THOMAS THE APOSTLE | TIMOTHY

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VALENTINE | VERONICA | VIATOR | VICTOR | VICTORIA

VINCENT DE PAUL | VINCENT FERRER | VITUS

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WALBURGA | WALTER | WENCESLAUS | WILLIAM | WINIFRED | WOLFGANG

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